NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG - Get Report) shares are up today on the news that it has settled its longstanding billion dollar copyright infringement lawsuit with media corporation Viacom (VIAB - Get Report). Viacom originally sued Google-owned YouTube back in 2007 on claims that it violated copyright law for allowing Viacom-owned programs to be uploaded on the user generated content site without Viacom's permission.
Viacom originally lost the now seven-year-old lawsuit in 2010 after a judge ruled that YouTube fell under "safe harbor provisions" of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which protects service providers from liability due to user generated content as long as the provider isn't actively participating in the piracy. Viacom won an appeal on that ruling two years later and the case was reopened.
However, in a joint statement released today, Google and Viacom announced the settlement of the suit. Though terms of the agreement were not made public, the companies acknowledged a growing collaboration between the two that is mutually beneficial. "Google and Viacom today jointly announced the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together."
Google shares were up 0.7% Tuesday while Viacom's stock was up 0.4%
TheStreet Ratings team rates GOOGLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate GOOGLE INC (GOOG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- GOOG's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 16.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- Although GOOG's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.06 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.28, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 44.07% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, GOOG should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- GOOGLE INC has improved earnings per share by 14.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, GOOGLE INC increased its bottom line by earning $36.04 versus $32.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($51.96 versus $36.04).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Internet Software & Services industry average. The net income increased by 17.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $2,886.00 million to $3,376.00 million.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: GOOG Ratings Report